While none of us won big at the lottery this weekend, the Royal Pavilion certainly did as it has just been announced that they have been awarded nearly £5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will help to pay for the major refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre. The money comes on top of the £5.8 million pledged by Arts Council England, along with the money from the city council, charitable trusts and individual patrons which altogether secures 66% of the funding required for the project.
The cost of the project will be £19 million, and a bid for £2 million is being made to Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership and there will be further fundraising to raise the remaining amount of money, of which will include an exciting appeal to the public but we can’t tell you anything about that yet because it’s super top secret. Refurbishment and essential conservation work will secure the Corn Exchange, which is a Grade I listed building and the Studio Theatre which is listed as Grade II. Heritage spaces that have previously been hidden from the public will be restored for viewing, and there is an activity plan in place for the Estate, which will reveal the history and uncover the stories of the Estate.
Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council said “We are delighted that the bid for the Heritage Lottery funding for this important project has been successful. It marks a major step forward in our joint plans to transform these unique historic assets, to enable more local people and visitors from around the world to enjoy them, and secure the future of the entire estate, which includes the Royal Pavilion, for generations to come”. The Chief Executive of the Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Andrew Comben said “we are delighted that Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed its significant support for this major redevelopment project. This is tremendous news. It is a fantastic endorsement of our vison and – alongside major contribution from Arts Council England, other charitable trusts and individual donors – creates a really strong foundation with which to launch our public appeal in the coming months.
The Royal Pavilion Estate is the at the heart of Brighton & Hove’s cultural scene, combining a historic royal palace and Regency garden, a museum, art gallery and three performing arts spaces. However, it can only be maintained for future generations with ongoing care and support and the city’s cultural, creative and economic future depends on a plan that makes it possible for the Estate to live up to its potential as a world-class cultural destination for heritage, culture and the performing arts.
Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East said “Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this first crucial step towards the regeneration of Brighton’s cultural heart and securing the future of two of the city’s historic listed buildings”. The Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. The work is thought to start in the Autumn of this year.